Mutual fund investments have taken a special place in investors hearts, especially those who are new to the investing world. This is because mutual funds are an excellent and convenient way of investing your money. These investment vehicles have proved time and again that they have the potential to generate significantly higher returns. This article serves as a mutual fund investment guide for all investors – new and old. Let’s start with the basics.
What are mutual funds?
A mutual fund is an investment vehicle where an AMC (asset management company) pools the capital of several investors. The pooled money is further invested in different securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments, etc. A fund manager professionally manages the fund and invests it in a myriad of investment options according to your financial portfolio. These fund managers are mutual fund experts that hold an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the volatile markets. In return, the fund houses charge a minimal expense ratio i.e., the annual maintenance fee to manage your mutual fund investments.
How to invest in mutual funds in a way that it best suits your financial needs?
Following are some of the points to be considered before you decide to invest in mutual funds online:
- Investment goals
Before deciding to invest, you need to evaluate your financial goals, risk appetite, and the investment tenure for which you desire to stay invested. An investment objective aids in determining the macro-level assortment of mutual fund schemes. Your investment tenure has the potential to have a contributory impact on your investment decisions.
- Performance of the mutual fund scheme against a benchmark
A benchmark index is a standard against which the performance and stock allocation of a particular mutual fund scheme is compared. It guides the investment philosophy of the scheme. Hence, the asset allocation of a benchmark index must match with the investment objective of the mutual fund.
- Consistent returns
An ideal mutual fund is the one that harvests, desirable, consistent, and significantly high returns over a period and not just whirlwind gains. It must be able to offer decent and consistent returns in both bullish and bearish markets.
- Expense ratios
An expense ratio is an important factor to consider as they have the potential to take away a considerable chunk of your earnings. A reasonable expense ratio is anywhere between 0.5 – 1.5%. Anything above 1.5% is usually considered as a high expense ratio. As a thumb rule of investing in mutual funds, the higher the asset under management (AUM), the lower will be the expense ratio, and higher will be the take home earnings.
- Fund manager’s experience and expertise
A fund manager plays a vital role in the performance of your mutual fund scheme. Although investing in mutual funds is a process-oriented approach, the fund manager has the final say. As a result, their view counts and experience should be accounted as well.
With different types of mutual funds available to individuals, you must remember that no single scheme or a set of schemes is suitable for everyone. So invest in mutual funds that best complement your portfolio. Happy investing!